Haven’t done one of these in a while. A late night early morning blog. Maybe it was the ghost encounter I had earlier in the evening or the espresso Papa Joe’s provided me today was secretly from Stumptown(one of the few roasters that I’m easily affected by their caffeine). Maybe it has nothing to do with either one but the current concern I have had over the years that has really started to bother me more than leaving at a conversation with another. Maybe its just all of it and I’ve mixed my caffeine, 6th sense and liberal art concerns into some kind of crazy legal trip. That does sound of crazy if I put it that way, but the matter is far from crazy but something dear and serious to me. So much that I live, eat, breathe and swear by it.
The topic: What does supporting your local liberal arts community and local businesses mean to you and what are you doing to not only to keep it going today but help it to grow beyond your years?
The past weeks or months now there have been complaints about the education system and the current or potential problems our “children” are facing. What are we doing about it beyond complaining? What proactive steps are we taking to create our paths so we aren’t reacting from the ones chosen for us? In the world of business you have to be on your feet, research, communicate and network day-to-day. Business people have to be proactive in order to “stay in the game”. Why do people treat the things so important to them differently? If something was so important to you why did you let it slip or how did it slip from you? This blog isn’t about discussing the current problems in our education system but the curiousty of people complaining without knowing facts or bother searching for them. Beyond that I’ve noticed the people complaining seem to be the ones taking things for granted. There are certain things we have in our lives whether it is rights givrn to us by our country or from our families. Many of them are often available by the work of one or a few men/women. Sometimes the things we have are still hanging by a single thread with no one knowing that tomorrow it may no longer be available. All of the work put in to make it available will be thrown away if its not saved. It is harder to start something from scratch than to help keep something going. Where is all of this going you may be asking or most importantly where did this stem from?
I was one of the original Directors for BSU’s Student Radio known as University Pulse. For years with different associates each year we spent countless hours programming, designing the studio, networking, researching, promoting and volunteering to make the station. Every producer was a volunteer because they either believed in the mission of the station and wanted to support it or they wanted the education of learning about working in radio. We tried several things to collaborate with other organizations on campus to promote them and reach our voice to the students. Our biggest hold back was that it wasn’t important to those not involved. There were people making decisions for themselves not for the students. When we tried programming the station in the Campus Rec. the center was telling us students didn’t like the program and wanted the popular FM stations to play. When we asked them what type of music do the students want to listen when they work out, we programmed the sounds they told us;specializing their needs. We wanted to make this a campus station for the campus. It wasn’t about some college students wanting to play thrasher music all the time. We changed the program for peak hours at the Rec. and they said they were still receiving complaints. So, as a marketing student I made my class project apply to this problem. I had my marketing team research the students at the Rec. center by observing what activities they were participating in to see if it was an activity in of the radio was noticed or not. We also observed the number of students with MP3 players or other types of possible distractions during their workout. Our final analysis was talking to the students about the station playing in the Rec. First we asked them if they noticed what station was playing, some of them heard the radio spots and others didn’t. Those that didn’t we asked them if they would be interested in listening to student radio while working out. More said yes than no or said they wouldn’t mind. Some even reacted excited that BSU had a student radio and encouraged us to continue the programming in the Rec. When our research was done we couldn’t figure out who was having the problems with the programming because based on our results there was positive feedback from students. When we confronted a few employees on different occasions they told us that it was the office staff but blamed it on the students. The same problem occurred in the SUB the same year when we were programming in the building.
I couldn’t figure it out. Organizations that wanted everyone to support them weren’t supporting others but what I couldn’t understand was how they didn’t see the value in it. Free advertising from the radio station within their own campus community. A few years later the station proved to be even less important by certain student government officials and agreed to cut the budget of the organization all together. It wasn’t important to them so it must not be for anyone else. Still some of us fought to have our voices heard but if they weren’t spoken and an alternative solution wasn’t found would the station have just disappeared? All of the sweat and tears volunteers and the Directors spent in it could have been wasted with a snap of a finger. I felt that there were more of us that wanted the station around but were either unaware of the station or at the time didn’t know it was something they wanted to be a part of yet. To me the station wasn’t just about being a part of music but a small community of people with similar interests learning together outside the classroom. It was important to us and has become a big part of many of our lives to this day serving as a platform for our current careers. I know I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now if I didn’t have that opportunity. I want to make sure others have the same and make the station bigger than what it was when I leave.
Today I face similar challenges coming from different directions. There is a music community that exists but I don’t feel it functions as one. If we are all we have and the other communities don’t care if we have an outlet to play live music or gather who will care? Who will it affect if your favorite venue has to close its doors because attendance was too low for periods of time? Most importantly who is going to have the money to start one up with the best interest of the community itself?
I just ask for you to think about what you value today and do something little each day to support it to help ensure it lasts. Think about the work that went in to establish it. At one point it was just a vision and later turned into reality. We can all dream and create ideas but those who implement them successfully or unsuccessfully at least took the chance to make a change. What are you doing today to support what you value and how can you do more?
Some say you can’t complain if you don’t vote. I say you can’t b!%#$ if you don’t try.
That’s as political as I get….